Darth Vader's Guide to Killer First Impressions

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first impressions

Do you remember the time when you first saw Darth Vader? I wonder what your impression was upon seeing this glossy-black armored, 6’8″ tall figure. Did you consider him as a kind and caring leader or rather a dark and ruthless figure?

The answer is simple. Anyone who has heard his voice distorted by the life support mask must have got the same feeling. Darth Vader seemed to be the incarnation of evil.

But was he really evil? He was Emperor’s apprentice, that’s true, but he was obedient, faithful and devoted. Not very malicious traits! Also, you surely remember Vader’s last moments. Wasn’t it the time when love conquered it all? And yet, the very first moment we saw Vader, somehow we knew he was an arch villain. All that because of the killer first impression.

Here’s a short guide to great first impressions, inspired by Darth Vader.

Looks, looks, looks

Can you imagine the Sith Lord dressed like a Stormtrooper? Or worse – like a Jedi? Vader looked exactly as he should; his suit was in accordance with the ancient Sith tradition where dark Force warriors were allowed to wear heavy armor.

Follow his example and don’t wear anything not suitable for the situation. Clothes you wear are an important part of your business image, even in small business.

If you’re too casual, you might come off as unprofessional to your customers or even employees. You might feel more comfortable in Crocs with socks, but you dress up for your client’s comfort, not yours!

Body language

When we meet another person, we unconsciously read their body signals. Body language is believed to make up between 60 to 75 percent of communication, so make sure you don’t do basic mistakes!

Straight back posture is the best looking, most professional pose. Don’t cross your arms, it gives a signal that you’re defensive and resistant. Try to behave calm, don’t break the eye contact and keep your body open.

Think about it this way: would your potential investors be interested in building a relationship with you were fidgeting, frowning every word they say or avoiding eye contact? To put it mildly: they would not treat you seriously.

Follow lord Vader’s example. Did you see him slouching in commander’s chair? Or wandering on Executor with his head hanging down?

Exactly.

Be self confident

You don’t have to worry that you don’t have lord Vader’s confidence. Self-confidence is a skill and anyone can learn it. But if you start an important meeting in 10 minutes and you feel a great disturbance in the Force, you can quickly boost your morale with a simple hack: the power-pose!

Why power-pose gives you confidence? For strictly scientific reasons. Standing or sitting a certain way raises testosterone levels and lowers the stress hormone. That impacts positively our overall comfort and self-confidence.

All you have to do is to find a place where curious looks will not reach you and book a couple minutes for yourself. You can try “the winner position” by lifting your arms over your head in a large V and raising your head up.

If you dare, you can also try Darth Vader’s favorite power pose. Rest your hands on your hips with elbows out. That’s it! Can you feel the Force growing stronger?

Listen

Lord Vader may not have been the most communicative Supreme Commander, but he sure knew how to listen. Whenever he was instructed by Emperor or was listening to subordinate’s report, he could not afford to miss any piece of information.

Take him as an example and make sure that you’re not the only one who speaks in the room. Otherwise, you may come across as a person who doesn’t care about others’ views or is simply rude.

Imagine that you speak with an upset customer. By listening effectively, asking questions and showing engagement, you develop trust, reduce conflict and maintain a good reputation!

Speak clearly

You can say a lot of things about Vader’s voice, but you have to admit: it was clear and strong. Vader was always communicating accurately, making an impression of a calm and competent leader.

Darth Vader’s voice is so unique it’s even being used in GPS navigation.

If you want to sound competent, make sure that what you say is relevant and appropriate. Want to show yourself in a good light? Do not jibber jabber trying to sound eloquent or trying to hide your nerves.

Want your employees to do something your way? Be precise and tell them clearly what you expect from them. And remember about good diction, it’s almost as important as what you say.

The science of first impressions

In business, first impressions are crucial. The way you look, talk and behave impacts whether people see you as a professional and whether they’ll like to build a business relationship with you. It means that bad impression can ruin your chance to sign a lucrative contract or to attract and hire a talented employee.

It only takes a couple of seconds to form an opinion about a person we see for the first time. What’s even more important, it’s very difficult to change the first impression. It means that even if you find out that a person you previously disliked has all traits to be your best friend, you’ll still be more likely to judge them wrong.

You only get one chance to make the first impression and Darth Vader can be a great example of that rule. It finally turns out that he is not that bad at all, but due to the impression he made, he is still considered to be one of the worst villains of all times!

The way you look, talk and behave create your image in people’s minds. So, if you want to make killer first impressions, stick to lord Vader’s rules. They will make you look the way you want and can also help you win people’s hearts.

Just like Darth Vader did.

Cover photo courtesy of HD Wallpapers via Creative Commons.

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